- What Are Toxic Links?
- How to Find Toxic Links?
- How to Remove Toxic Links from Your SEO Process?
- Toxic Links - What Should You Do?
What Are Toxic Links?Based on numerous available definitions, toxic links can be defined as URLs that result in a decrease in the position of the linked site or don't produce growth. Google also defines the term as:
Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site. - Source: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/guidelines/link-schemes?hl=enIt's extremely difficult to find toxic links in larger datasets, as there are many reasons for a website's lack of growth, and backlinks aren't the only decisive factor in this case. However, in some situations, it's possible to say for sure that you've encountered toxic links. If you see that a site has a massive number of backlinks but not too many linking domains, then you're most likely dealing with a toxic domain. Another red flag should be a situation when there's a sudden drop in performance after link building activities. In this situation, it's recommended to perform a detailed link audit.
How to Find Toxic Links?Toxic links include spammy and mass links created by one entity. To find toxic links you should perform the aforementioned link audit. However, if you want to analyze your website on your own, pay attention to a few red flags such as:
- Several identical websites with different domains linking to the same site,
- A massive number of spam comments, containing links that are a red flag for the search engine,
- Unmoderated forums and blogs that are a source of low-quality links,
- Malicious domains and software that can refer to a site, informing the search engine about a possible threat,
- Links from a domain added to the Disavow file by several users,
- Linking from a domain penalized by Google,
- Follow and nofollow links of suspicious proportion,
- Directories that cite multiple domains,
- Excessive link density on the page with the link,
- Lack of an SSL certificate, which guarantees the credibility of the linking domain.
Tools That Come in HandyThe process of finding and analyzing toxic links is extremely difficult and challenging. Due to constant changes in search engines, this analysis isn't a one-time activity, but cyclical monitoring. Observing a domain's visibility and toxic links isn't an entirely reliable solution. Sometimes following such a path can lead you to the wrong conclusions. It's worth supporting your observations with SEO tools that will help you check a site's links and allow you to evaluate its conditions. The most popular of these are:
- Google Search Console